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PEEP Family Science: Shadows

Parents and children explore shadows outdoors, including their own. They’ll notice how shadows change over the course of the day. Indoors, they’ll create shadows using lamps and flashlights and experiment with changing their shapes and sizes. They’ll use what they discovered to make shadow puppets and put on a play.

Download the App

Download the App

This PEEP Family Science app features four weeks on the science of shadows. It includes:

  • Videos of animated stories from the TV show PEEP and the Big Wide World
  • Live-action videos featuring real children
  • Hands-on activity instructions
  • Parent videos, which model how to do the activities


If you need help downloading the app to your phone or tablet:

  • We recommend you download the app over Wi-Fi if you don’t want to use your phone’s data plan. 
  • Home visiting organizations may want to supply parents with Wi-Fi or suggest places where they can get free access.
  • Once the app is downloaded, it works completely offline: you won’t need your phone’s data plan or the Internet to use the app!
For Educators

For Educators

The Educator Guide covers everything you need to support and encourage parents as they explore shadows with their children. It walks you step-by-step through each week of the PEEP Family Science app.

For educators who want more background on the PEEP approach to preschool science, you can find sections on the PEEP parent strategies, problem-solving tips, and using educational media with children.


Weekly Printouts for Shadows

To explore shadows, all parents need is the PEEP Family Science app. However, in case parents want to refer to a printout rather than the app while doing the activity, here are the printouts of all the activities that are in the app.

Shadows Week 1: Exploring Outdoor Shadows

Notice shadows outside, including your own.


Shadows Week 2: Changing Shadows

Notice how shadows can move and change.


Shadows Week 3: Exploring Indoor Shadows

Make shadows indoors with a lamp or flashlight.


Shadows Week 4: Making Shadows

Make shadow puppets and put on a play!



Educator Video

This video outlines the critical role educators play in supporting and encouraging parents doing PEEP Family Science. Educators can watch the video on their own, or their organizations may want to feature it during a staff meeting or orientation.

Educator Video: Getting Started (6:15)

Watch a home educator introduce the PEEP Family Science app to a mom; model a science activity; discuss the PEEP parent strategies; and help build the mom’s confidence in doing science with her child.

Parent Videos

Parents will find these videos in the app at the beginning of Week 1 and Week 3. Watching them is a great way to get started with that week’s activities. If educators have the time, we recommend they watch and discuss the videos together with parents. To enhance the viewing experience, there are video-viewing questions in the Educator Guide.

Shadows Week 1 (4:02)

Watch a mom and her daughter explore and experiment with shadows outdoors.

Shadows Week 3 (5:16)

Watch a mom and her daughter make shadows indoors with a flashlight.

Peep Videos

Week 1

Shadow Play

Peep, Chirp, and Quack notice their shadows for the first time.

Week 2

Shadow Tracing

Kids trace their shadows indoors and outdoors.

Shifting Shadows

Kids make shadows outside. Then they notice how shadows can move.

Week 3

Night Light

It’s dark and scary! Then Peep and Quack find a flashlight and have some fun.

Week 4

Bringing Spring

Peep, Chirp, and Quack meet a young groundhog and help her find her shadow.


Some PEEP games can be played online (requires Wi-Fi); others can be downloaded as apps. If parents have room on their phones for additional apps, encourage them to download these free PEEP games on shadows, which are closely related to the science activities families will be doing. The games can be found in the app store along with the PEEP Family Science apps. High-quality educational games are a great way to increase children’s learning (but parents should limit their young children’s overall screen time to an hour a day).

Night Light 

Use the flashlight to help Peep find animals hiding in the dark.

Shadow Shapes

Help Chirp match the objects to their shadows.
Parent Handouts

Parent Handouts

Recommended Books and Online Games about Shadows

Books and online educational games are a great way for children to explore shadows. This handout lists recommended books and PEEP online games about shadows and includes guidelines for reading together and using online media.

The Parent Strategies

Throughout the app and the videos, PEEP encourages parents to use three strategies to help get their children excited by science: Play and Explore, Ask Questions and Talk about Ideas, and Explore More! Distribute this handout to remind parents of the strategies. They’re not only useful for doing PEEP but help with many other family interactions.

For Site Coordinators

For Program Site Coordinators

This brief guide offers a quick rundown of all the PEEP Family Science resources and can help organizations put together a meeting or orientation session for educators and other staff members.